E155 Kristy Shinn: Head of Education @ Workweek

Episode 155 May 26, 2022 00:33:27
E155 Kristy Shinn: Head of Education  @ Workweek
NoCode Wealth
E155 Kristy Shinn: Head of Education @ Workweek

Show Notes

Kristy Shinn has nearly 20 years of experience in Education as a teacher, professor, entrepreneur, and consultant. She is now the Head of Education at Workweek.

Workweek is a B2B media company which provides a unique approach to business media by utilizing a collective of expert Creators who are influencing and changing the world of business.

Website: Workweek.com

Twitter: @kristyshinn

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Episode Transcript

Kristy Shinn 0:00 Well now my brain is exploding Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 0:17 Once upon a time, there were 10s of 1000s of makers struggling every day they built for hours and hours but didn't chip and didn't earn enough income. One day, the no Caldwell's podcast came to show them the way because of this, makers became founders and live the life they deserve. Because of that, founders live lives of abundance, freedom, and creativity. That's what I'm really all about. Hello, my name is Aziz and from being a poor boy born to a single mother in North Africa, with no opportunities just sheer hard work to failing multiple startups, yet learning a whole lot to barely escaping alive the war in Ukraine even living as an illegal immigrant. I've lost everything twice. And now I'm rebuilding my life. One more time, 1% a day sharing the wisdom of luminaries have interviewed on this podcast from Google executives to Amazon, Microsoft, Forbes, Technology Council, Harvard Financial Times, and even a priest from the Vatican church. Everyone is welcome, here. So let's begin. My guest today is Kristy Shinn. Kristy has nearly 20 years of experience in education as a teacher, professor, entrepreneur, and consultant. She is now the head of education at Workweek. Workweek is a b2b media company, which provides a unique approach to business media by utilizing a collective of expert creators who are influencing and changing the world of business. Kristy, how are you today? Kristy Shinn 2:09 I'm doing great, Aziz. How are you? Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 2:11 I'm feeling grateful. I'm feeling optimistic and full of the energy of life. And to begin this properly, I would like to ask you a question that is somewhat of a wild card, which is okay, when it comes to education. Have you ever had? Or are you currently in the process of thinking about something that you feel is a big problem you're trying to solve or an insight you're trying to implement? Or something there that keeps demanding your attention again? And again? And again? Kristy Shinn 2:46 Wow, that's such a great question. And absolutely what I'm trying to try to tackle right now at work week. As a former teacher, professor, I've worked in learning and development in the corporate world. And a lot of education is rinse and repeat. It's the same stuff happening over and over. And many students tolerate that. And they need the skills, so they make it work. But, you know, if COVID has taught us anything, it's that we need to rethink models, and we need to rethink norms. So right now, I'm trying to rethink the model that is education, how can people learn in a way that's innovative, that speaks to the person more than the content? That is multifaceted, that relies on expertise that doesn't necessarily require a PhD? So that question I think about that type of that type of work is everyday for me. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 3:58 I love this. I have so many questions. This requires at least like a whole week of discussions at this point. But let's begin with something you know, the root of educate, is to draw out of the person and therefore it's not like to pour your knowledge into someone else. It's there is I don't know if you believe in Carl Jung saying where we're all connected to some big thing called the collective unconscious and all the knowledge, the inspiration, the ideas, the creativity out there. And we're vessels that draw out from that. Those abilities skills, and it happens when you're in flow doing something magnificent. You're not doing it you're like watching yourself doing something great or observing greatness or whatever. Or if you feel about it, that it's more about people coming to their own conclusions, creating their own skills, rather than being like, monkey see, monkey do copying something temporarily to get a grade. Meant for getting it all over. But to this point, specifically, what is to you? Good education? How can you describe it? How can you explain it? How do you approach it? Kristy Shinn 5:14 You know, that's a, that's another great question. I think it depends. If I'm trying to learn a skill to do something, I want to learn how to build a table, you know, the type of education that I'm looking for, there is a step by step walk me through, I have an end result, I have a product at the end, that I can say, I learned this skill, and I and I have something to show for it. There's also the type of education where you're really trying to expand your mind, you're trying to get to deeper thought, become more reflective, you know, really expand where you are now where you've been. So you can get somewhere to like, get to a goal in the future. So for that type of learning, it would be better to have that be more like a slower version of learning more thought provoking, more reflective more, where you're pushing yourself in a mentally exhausting way. And then I think the third kind of phase of learning is where the third type is really, where I have to learn skills now to prepare me to learn skills later. And for many students, those are the skills that they might forget, they might not make sense why you have to learn algebra now, because you want to be a nurse later. But the skills you learn today are that will be the building blocks for the skills you need to learn in the future. So I think it's an it depends simply because you have to look at the end goal of why you are learning. And I think that's a gap in education, where we aren't looking at the end goal, we're saying, this is the best way to learn something. So we're going to learn it that way. And that's not necessarily the case. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 7:09 Thank you so much. I love this. I'm just my brain is exploding with thought. I'll go with something, which is this. There is some philosophical kind of thinking that is close to my heart. I will say it symbolized by a great book by Mortimer Adler called how to read a book where he was saying, there are too many people who over consume education in a way or literature or knowledge, where the world is filled with well read illiterates. That's, according to him, you should literally if you read in a book, you should spend at least three months dissecting it, arguing every point with the author reflecting on it in your life, in order to make it a part of you rather than something you regurgitate and say to sound cool, and smart. In addition, in addition to like, some movement, that if you think about 1932, that very famous birth, breath called Russell, or Bertrand Russell, essay in praise of idleness, where he was saying in many ways that machines and technology at the time was invented to give people the space to be creative in order to follow their hearts, to do things like that. But humanity tricked itself into working double as hard although the machine promise was to give them more time to do what they love. People ended up overworking, even more 10 times more. And all that does is not giving them space in order to contemplate, to create. And to do more or, more recently, there is something called the slowness movement. And Carl Andre, he wrote In Praise of Slow how that movement is challenging the cult of speed. So what I'm saying and you didn't mention it, like directly, but I want to say, I found that learning a skill. It's not what we expect it to be. Sometimes I will read a book that has all the answers and it's in front of me, but I cannot see it until like five years later where it needed to take its time in order to see been within I will read that same exact book, but it will look so different that will be like I didn't know they said all this like I had to go through so much struggle in order to discover that and only now I can my eyes are open to see that they were telling me all along what I painfully hit my head against the wall again and again and again and again, in order to figure out and discover but the first time it wasn't obvious. So to me, do you feel that we compress too much education in a short period of time? Whether people are at home or university With the students or whatever, where before that there was the practice of mentorship and the practice of you being like trainee for life, or you spent 20 years to hone a craft before you became a master at it. Well, nowadays, we expect to read the book and do a 90 day training and become masterful, which is totally, in my opinion unrealistic. Or do you believe that we evolved as a species enough for us to literally know how to train someone from zero to 100, in a short period of time? Kristy Shinn 10:34 Well, now my brain is exploding. So you said so much great important things. The first thing I got it from you is, when the student is ready, the teacher presents themselves. So you know, the idea that every 18 year old is ready to go to college is not actually even appropriate. And the idea that if you complete an 18 month program, you are ready to do whatever thing that you studied it, that also doesn't make sense. The one of the things I love the most about education is the learning, I am still a student, I am still learning, you know, joining workweek and working with creators directly. So many of them have areas of expertise outside of anything I've ever read or studied outside of topics that are even taught in colleges. And I'm consuming that material. But because it's new material, it is going to take a tremendous amount of time for me to get to a place where I even feel confident speaking on it. So the idea that, you know, you can just complete something and check a box and be proficient or above proficiency. To me, I agree with you, 100%. That's not, that's not appropriate. I also, as a leader, I, my model is apprentice and mentor, I get executive coaching, I still want to learn, even from you know, even those soft skills and in from folks that I admire and, and who are around me, and, and this is the material that I too, still consume. But some of the stuff I read five years ago and wasn't in a place professionally to hear it and process it in the way that I needed to. So I think if you're going from education from, you know, kindergarten, through college, and then the education we do, you know, as adults and professionals, you have to be ready, you have to be open minded, and you have to take the time that you need to be successful. Some folks might not need the full 18 months, it might just click in their brain, or they have pre existing knowledge or skills that just make it happen. So I think I think it really boils down to the student being ready, and the students timeline. And sometimes that timeline has to be compressed or forced, simply because it there's no option. But it really shouldn't space is important for learning. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 13:16 Thank you. I love that answer. And since I love first principles, thinking, I'll play the devil's advocate a little bit as if I didn't play it enough. Look, there is the assumption, many assumptions in there. But one of them, as you spoke before, the one size fits all for education. To push it even further. If you read one of the books like a by learn Leonardo Ladino, which is how randomness rules our lives were in that book. He speaks a lot about how life is very random. And like mice or like birds, we try to look for patterns. And then we give those patterns and meaning that oh, this is the right way. We should do things and educate our people on doing the same way. But in reality, if you look deeper, there are executives or leaders who, for some years, there'll be so successful and their method and we should do like them, and then suddenly, it's not working anymore. And they're like, oh, they lost it. They lost their touch. But in reality, it was all random. They had a streak of good luck, and then a streak of bad luck. And it's one of those things where showing up is 80% of the success where then based on this, and I'm not saying it's correct, but let's say we assume this is correct. It means a lot of knowledge is just a bandaid over the reality that every person should take a lot of action and that anything done that can progress you towards your goals can work as equally as well as something that If designed by a professor, or by a billionaire, or by a top level, executive or whatever, because we all have one life, we're all equally in the same piece of like, chaos, everybody's pretending to know what they're doing. But nobody knows anything. When in reality, we're swimming in an ocean where, or as you know, Einstein said, My method to life is I grew up, I grew up in the dark, and therefore everybody is groping in the dark. And to convince themselves, it's not as scary as it is, they say, Oh, I found the method to grow up in the dark correctly, but not really. And therefore, what's the use of education rather than mental entertainment, if you think about it is education and Netflix for the brain. And the reality of it as the personality type of those people who are how people are action takers, they will say, look, try where you're risking to fail or to succeed. And sometimes you will fail. Sometimes you'll succeed. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear Ethio. And that's it. There is no method or magic to it. It's all placebo pretending to know what's happening. But everybody is as ignorant as everybody else. What's your perspective? Kristy Shinn 16:17 I find everything you just said very, very interesting. Luck takes hard work. That's, that's I have a shirt that says that I believe that to the core. I do think there's, you know, this idea of, if you're willing to just keep trying, eventually. I used to say to my students, you know, somebody hits a lottery sometimes, like, why couldn't that somebody be you. So there's truth to that. But if we go back to the three kind of styles of learning, you know, if you need to learn Python, for your role, then you need to learn Python. So no matter no amount of trial, and error is going to teach you that. Or that amount of trial and error would be significantly long. So for like skill based stuff, I think that that could be true, but it's not as quickly as if you just learn the skill for, you know, expanding your mind. That, to me is where the student, the teacher presents themselves when the student is ready. If you take a lot of risk and you fail, fail, fail, and you never learn from it. And you just get mad that you're not successful. And you just stop doing what you want to do to achieve your goal, then you actually haven't learned anything. And that it doesn't matter what kind of education you receive, you're not open minded enough, you haven't expanded your brain to be reflective enough or paused enough to really receive the information that you gained by failing some of my some of my biggest lessons, some of all of our biggest lessons come from failure. And I wish I wish organizations would allow for more failure, there's just such a drive to not to not learn and be successful. And then the third, the third type was learning skills to build on. And I really think this is the area where you could do that trial and fail. You know, I tried to do my, my accounting this way, and it didn't work, and I lost all my receipts. And now I'm going to try it a new way and, and you're building your skill set to the point where five years from now, you know, the exact message you need to use, and you know, all of those things that went wrong and why you can't do those anymore. I think for the thought of you know, a C suite person who had always been successful, and then now they suddenly aren't, you know, it could be stubbornness or not changing with the times, but ultimately it is learning there's something that is happening, and they're not changing. And there's plenty of companies that haven't changed over the last two years with COVID or over the last 510 15 years that are no longer around because they've refused to learn 100% learning is can be like Netflix, I I practice conversational French for absolutely no reason. It just is something fun that I like to do. So for in that way, it just stimulates me the way somebody's favorite show might. But as I'm working with creators on a day to day basis, I'm trying to build my skill set so I can speak to them and meet them where they are. So I think it's just the balance of the three different types. That really leads to kind of connecting the dots of the randomness. I do agree that there is some randomness, you're in there. right place the right time you met the right person at a coffee shop, your your boss gives you a referral to you know, another nother person who leads to your next role there. There's some, there's some of that. But if you're not in the place to receive that, it won't be helpful. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 20:19 Thank you. I really love what you're saying. It's full of wisdom. I also know really, and I love people who have failed, I believe that's what builds character and wisdom as well. People who succeed too much they become naive somehow to live. Yes, which is this, I will tell you because what I'm hearing and correct me if this is wrong, but there is an assumption and how I see reality, you know, there is a foundational thing in life is entropy, which is like the force of chaos, and the universe is from physics. And how I see it is this, we have built a structure and a society where there is something called BS jobs, you know, like jobs that pretend to do something, but they're doing nothing. They're not useful. There are a lot of rituals, there are a lot of like certification, or even you spoke about accounting, yes, it has a lot of usefulness. But a lot of other complications or laws of being a lawyer, one of the things that they do is try to perpetuate themselves, in order to stay doing that work, because if they simplified the language too much, nobody was needed a lawyer, or if the accounting was simplified, like in Singapore or whatever, where you pay just 8% of whatever you earn. And that's it, then a lot of stuff becomes really simple. But this is how I see it, in reality, like a bear will need to be on a river, trying to catch a Salmond 20 times. And like on the 19th time, when it's almost going to die from starvation, it catches a fat, juicy Salman that eats and devours. And that sustains it for like two or three days until the next time, where everything is hard. Everything is a struggle, but in a way that it needs to survival of the fittest or becoming stronger, whatever. But we have created a created fictional construct, which is society where you can go out pay money to be 100,000% sure to receive the food, where you can, like call to get exactly the clothes you want, which is totally not how reality and the world and the wilderness worked, or it's supposed to work. And what this did is that, as I say, like, strong people, create good times good times, create soft people, soft people create bad times, and then bad times will create strong people in the future that life, we imagine there is this thing and you speak French, like you said, which called later Providence, which is a political science idea that a lot of people think about government as their mommy, and it's supposed to give them their jobs, it's supposed to take care of them to create the economy, forgetting that the government is just a group of people who say big grandiose words, they do nothing as it's the normal people who are building the environment building the economy built, the jobs are provided by normal people. It's not the president who creates any job except his, like Secretaries of State and his like staff and all that those are the jobs that any President creates. And therefore, do you believe, and this goes back to education, that somehow there are two things and maybe it also relates to you being a Constant Learner. People think that education one, it's a rite, where I understand how it is, but in many ways, it's luxury. And second thing that it should be easy, because their life became so soft, that people cannot handle struggles and hard work and like tearing your brain apart to understand the concept and therefore they get too lazy, and go watch Netflix or whatever it is. But even more importantly, is it even necessary, because if you learn what you need in order to be effective in this world, do you need to learn all that extra stuff from universities or all those courses or whatever else? That waste basically time and that's the only thing that we have in this world. While you could have been specifically targeting what you need in order to be the best you can be and say no to everything else, as Warren Buffett says, you know, the difference between successful people and really, really, really successful people is really, really successful people say no to almost everything. Therefore, tell me your perspective as well as finished by speaking about workweek where people can learn more about you and all that in order for them to connect with you more. Kristy Shinn 24:51 Okay, perfect. That was that was a lot for my for my response because I feel super passionately about this. Um, Education is a luxury. Absolutely. And for any person who can receive education, it, it really is a gift, even if you cannot see it as a gift, I think as a society, it is important for us to be as educated as possible, especially because to your point, you know, the government officials that we elect are supposed to represent the people. So the more educated the people are, in theory, the better choices our elected officials will make. I think, as far as university goes, this is something I'm struggling with as a parent, because there's a maturity, to going out into the work force, some, some teenagers, you're typically a teenager, when you go to college, some are ready to go to the workforce, they have ideas, they're so you know, kind of entrepreneurial, and already, and so for them, they're ready to hit the ground running. Others aren't sure what they want to study or what they like, because they've only really had the four core subjects and, and College is preparing folks for jobs that maybe haven't even existed yet. And I think there's with all education from preschool through college, there's a social and cultural aspect of it meeting people who don't look like you who don't act like you, learning social norms, and, and learning how to fit in and be successful in, in in some of the randomness. So I also recognize how insanely expensive college is. And so the learning that you might need to get post 12th grade might not be in a in a typical college or university. And that's fine. I think it's still creating that kind of idea of, of learning and pushing yourself to find your strengths and what you're interested in. And that actually pivots to work week perfectly, because what we're trying to do at work week is, you know, we're, we're trying to build this model, similar to a record label. You know, we're we're a house of brands, not a branded house. And for some of our creators, they're teaching. And they're experts and have this voice of authority in topics not discussed. In many universities. We have folks who write every single week about FinTech, and they're talking about web three, and crypto, which is top of mind right now in the news. And so there's a lot you can learn just from that, just from following those folks. You know, we have media creators and creators in the healthcare field, cannabis, you know, a variety of areas where if you follow the right people, if you are listening, and learning from them, you can actually get a job from that. We have some outstanding marketing voices of authority where you could learn marketing skills with an as easy and I both know marketing is taught in college, but you could get the marketing skills that you need to actually do a marketing role without going to college. So what we're trying to do is we're trying to flip the script and figure out a way to take these creators who are voices of authority and make learning opportunities for their audience that fits the creator and fits the audience. So these things could be in person live stream cohort courses, where we want to get his programs that would have search certifications, or accreditations so folks could say I took this course and I've learned these skills and I'm ready to go. Also, our creators are young and and in the know of now, I have worked with academia for a long time. And academia tends to be slow and stagnant and not necessarily moving at the speed of corporate America. So that's another thing that we want, we want relevance to actually what people need to learn today. So for me, folks can follow me on Twitter. It's Christie Shin, and I am going to build this education program in public. As I am starting to build the program and figure out the courses and the content and the way I'm going to do it and how I fail and learn. I am going to make every attempt to tweet about that and share my learning with other people. Another opportunity for folks is to go To work with.com/shows We have podcasts similar to this where you can learn so much from our creators. We even have a podcast called subject matter that is about building growing and monetizing the audience of your podcast. So workweek is really about saying, we have some super smart folks who can teach you things. So you can become a in a similar role, or you can take this knowledge and take it right to work. So that way, people don't necessarily have to go to college, or, you know, if you want to pivot in your career, and that feels overwhelming, you can start learning today. So I'm super excited about the opportunity, we're about a month into building this education program. So we're getting our ducks in a row to hit the ground running this summer and start getting some content out there for folks to start learning. Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 30:54 I love that it reminds me of a guest I had who is called, you know, your night he's from he graduated from Columbia University in New York, but he helps people with no degrees that says brand is no degrees, get high paying jobs at Tesla, Amazon, whatever it is by showing the value and the skills they have acquired throughout their lives. And therefore, HR managers or recruiters or whoever will see that value and therefore they won't care whether they have degree from a university are not and therefore it works. That's what I'm saying. Thank you, Christy, I really encourage the work you do keep going keep testing and failing. It's everything you remember, there's your Michael Jordan, like video, or advertisement or whatever that he did a long time ago where he said, You know, I fail, and that's why I succeed, or he like missed 9000 shots or whatever it is. And that's the reality. And that's what I think about, I think about it in this world. Imagine you are in a road. And there are 100 doors, a 50 on your right and 50 on your left, and you know, one of them has $1,000,000.05 of them have like $10,000 and everything else is empty. Well, you don't open 20 doors that you found empty, and then give up and say, Oh, I failed, life is bad. You keep going until you get to the door that tells you that has the goal that and wealth and the success or whatever it is that you desire, like you said, for you to hit on those topics that will resonate with the people and that you can provide. You have to try a whole lot and not not take it personally if they don't work. It just it is what it is. It's like a roulette thing. You bet on a number but you have infinite beds. And each time that a number is deleted, you know, at least you don't have to bet on it again. And that's my perspective. And that's it. Thank you so much, Christy and I wish you a good day. Kristy Shinn 33:09 Thank you. It's been a pleasure.

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